The K-25 History Center celebrated its grand opening with a public ribbon-cutting ceremony adjacent to the original building’s foundation in Oak Ridge.
The history center was created to honor the amazing stories of the men and women who helped construct and operate the K-25 uranium enrichment complex that altered the global landscape during World War II and the Cold War.
The grand opening celebration, hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management, featured remarks throughout the morning from several guests.
They included U.S. Department of Energy Under Secretary for Science Paul Dabbar, Department of Energy Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management Manager Jay Mullis, UCOR President and Chief Executive Officer Ken Rueter, Oak Ridge Mayor Warren Gooch; and some former K-25 employees.
“I applaud the many agencies that helped us bring the K-25 History Center from an idea to an engaging facility that shares the incredible story of a secret city in Tennessee that changed the course of history,” said Dabbar.
The new K-25 History Center boasts 7,500 square feet of exhibits offering visitors more than 250 original artifacts on display.
Nearly 1,000 oral histories were collected over a span of 10 years from former workers to develop the interactive galleries that highlight the historical significance and legacy of K-25.
Upon arrival, visitors will experience history and scientific innovation first-hand, from interacting with virtual tours of K-25’s four floors, to mastering the science of nuclear chain reactions, to uncovering secrets behind the numerous artifacts on display.
The K-25 History Center also hosts a Digital Memory Zone, giving former K-25 workers, their families and others the opportunity to leave their memories and oral histories of Oak Ridge.
Originally constructed in 1944, Building K-25 was the largest structure in the world, with a 44-acre footprint.
It carried an equally immense and important mission to help end a global war.